Book Critique - Crashing Heat (Nikki Heat #10)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Another easy read in a long-line of books by Richard Castle, that keeps you lightly on the edge, takes you through conspiracies and trysts, indulges you with romance and love and at the end solves two murders, unraveling the conspiracies for what they are. And perhaps the last in the series now.

Crashing Heat is the tenth book in the series of Castle Books written by fictional author Richard Castle from the TV series Castle (portrayed by Nathan Fillion) (My review of the TV series here) published in March of 2019. The plot is set a little while after incidents from the previous book Heat Storm.

Typically as the TV series progressed, one book per season was released. However the series ended after eight seasons in May 2016. Yet, Hyperion Books went on to publish two more books in this series, which were going to be the end of the series in books - eighth book High Heat and the ninth book Heat Storm

The plot-line in Heat Storm also had a kind of closure to all the characters created by Richard Castle from his both series - Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm. Yet we see a new book published by Kingswell this time. Perhaps the ghostwriter of these books moved to a different publisher to continue the series. Or some other publisher picked from where the previous ghost writer ended and got out a new book with a new ghost writer. Either way we get to read another book and thus my review.

Jameson Rook goes to his alma mater - University of Cambria - to be a visiting professor for four months. But he lands into a huge soup as always. One of his student, Chloe Masterson, is found naked and murdered in Rook's bed. Now Rook and Nikki Heat - Captain of the 20th Precinct and his wife - have to investigate and find proof of his innocence before the local cops book him for murder.

Heat and Rook are dynamic at their work as usual - unearthing clues, thinking like two bodies one mind, zeroing on the suspects. It is heavily loaded with romance than what the Heat books have been so far. We continue to see the comic flair running along-side the main plot.

For the past two books, the author left Nikki Heats two main detectives, Detective Raley and Ochoa - collectively called The Roach - as the co-squad leaders of her department. I was wondering what her decision would be. In this book we see a closure - The Roach remains co-squad leaders and continue to work more efficiently than before.

The powerful title - Crashing Heat - put a lot of expectations in my mind, assuming that it would be filled with intensity and surprises. Oh we got the intensity between the romance and sex by Heat and Rook. But the plot wasn’t as intense. 

We get loads of fun and humor at every turn of the page though. At one point, the author has Nikki calling Rook as "Captain Tight Pants", a clear nod to his role as Malcom "Mal" Reynolds aka Captain Tight Pants in the 2002 American space western TV drama Firefly and 2005 American space western film Serenity. Nathon Fillion, who also portrayed the role of Richard Castle in the TV show Castle, had the role of Captain Tight Pants too.

Castle this time takes the readers into secret societies, brotherhoods, freemasons, illuminati and the conspiracy surrounding all these secret organizations. The path to the conspiracy was interesting none the less, even though the book wasn’t intensive enough.

Heat Storm, the previous book, I thought ended the entire series well enough tying both the key characters of Richard Castle neatly - Derrick Storm and Nikki Heat. This book definitely seemed offshoot and going off script too. Oh it had connections to past book, but there was nothing in it that would make us think another book might come from the series. Since nothing has been released since a year and a half, I presume so. Although I hoped the continuation would be a collision of Heat and Storm's worlds. Well we have to wait and see if and when more books are penned, for that line to continue.

I felt that the book was written in a lot of rush to finish. At least not in the beginning but as the book progressed I found a lot of mistakes and spellings, and the story seemed to run rather than pause and go. 

Another easy read in a long-line of books by Richard Castle, that keeps you lightly on the edge, takes you through conspiracies and trysts, unraveling the conspiracies for what they are, indulges you with romance and love and at the end solves two murders.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. Rook's colleagues from his past - Raymond Lamont, Jennifer Daily, journalist; Michael Warton, Editor-in-Chief for The Journal, newspaper at Cambria U; April Albright, editor at First Press; Kaden Saunders

b. Rook is awarded the Nellie Bly Award for his expose of corruption and beyond by the presidential candidate Lindsay Gardener. This refers to the plots from the previous two books - High Heat and Heat Storm. 

c. Law Enforcement at Cambria University - Officer Breckestein; Chief Ian Cooley, head of the police department & Nikki's ex-husband; 

2. Sub Plots:

a. 2012 book A Bloody Storm, ends with Jedediah Jones and Derrick Storm (without the knowledge of Jones) having the actual location of the Russian Gold.

b. Cynthia Heat, Nikki's Mother, and Carl Storm, Derrick's father, get engaged at the end of Heat Storm. She is on honeymoon as of this book.

c. Nikki Heat's squadron members - Detectives Sean Raley and Miguel Ochoa, collectively called The Roach & Co-Squad Leaders; Medical Examiner Lauren Parry; Detective Rhyner; Detective Fellar; Detective Sharon Hinesburg; Detective Inez Aguinaldo.

d. Other Law Enforcement Nikki & Rook deal with at NYC - Zach Hammer, senior administrative aide to the NYPD's deputy commissioner for legal matters; 

e. Rook's family - mother Margaret Rook, actress; 

f. Rook writes romance novels as well under the fictional name Victoria "Tori" St. Claire. 

g. Places that Heat and Storm visit:

i. Reclining Figure at The Paul Misltein Pool and Terrace at Lincoln Center in NYC

h. Media, Books, Cooking references:

i. References to Agatha Christie's books - And Then There Were None, The Mousetrap; H.G. Wells The Time Machine; quotes from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Felicia Bond; 

ii. Heat's ring tone for Rook is Prince's song Little Red Corvette. 

iii. TV Shows - Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura; 

3. Grammatical / Character / Location / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. Zach "The Hammer" Hammer was first introduced as aide Senior Administrative Aide to Deputy Commissioner of Legal Affairs, in the third book Heat Rises in 2011. However in this book he is mentioned as Senior Administrative Aide to NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters. Is the department changed from Legal Affairs to Legal Matters now?

b. On Pg. 118, Line 4 from bottom, it should be "…it didn’t surprise her…"

c. On Pg. 121, Line 9 from bottom, it should be "…hand out to touch…"

d. On Pg. 141, Line 13, Rook is mis-spelled as "Rooked".

e. On Pg. 145, Line 8, shouldn’t it be "…she's true to her…"

f. On Pg. 164, Line 2, shouldn’t it be "…that they were involved…"

g. On Pg. 170, Line 12 from bottom, it should be "…Why did she…"

h. There is mention of a "niece" for Nikki Heat. I don’t remember her having any siblings to have nieces or nephews. Did the new ghost writer mis-entered it? Or is (s)he changing the character's past slightly?

i. On Pg. 183, Line 17, it should be "…The four of them…"

j. Chapter 25 ends with Rook and Heat still at the local police station. However the beginning of Chapter 26 has Heat trying to call the Cambria police station to talk to Ian and then forego that thought and instead follow her lead by her own. Seems like a disconnect with the scenes, and no where an explanation is given to show that Heat and Rook left the police station and found another lead when they further investigated. 

k. On Pg. 210, Line 4, it should be "…One page had…"

l. On Pg. 218, Heat texts Ian to meet at the Masonic Lodge. But none of the scenes after that show Ian arriving there at all. Why didn’t he come? That part seemed disconnected.


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